FIRST UP FOR 2016! The University of St. Thomas volunteers will arrive this weekend.

The Dacotah Tipis Habitat for Humanity volunteer season will start this weekend with a group from the University of St. Thomas. The University of St. Thomas is a private, Catholic, liberal arts, and archdiocesan university located in St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota.
They will be staying at the new Volunteer Center on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation. The group will work be involved in home construction and in the local cultural activities.





This is the information summary provided to the students:

Dates: March 21st – 28th, 2016
Group Size: 2 student leaders, 8 participants
Cost: $500
Quick Facts:

Construction work on the Rez
Learn about the Dakota/Lakota culture and people
Experience life on the Crow Creek Reservation

Host Community:

Coming to Crow Creek will be a life-changing experience. Dacotah Tipis provides a service-learning experience that gives volunteers not only the chance to work across Crow Creek with our Dakota/Lakota friends, but also the chance to be immersed in Dakota/Lakota culture. Dacotah Tipis believes that forming relationships with the Dakota/Lakota people and studying their history, culture, and spirituality as we grow in our understanding about their lives and culture is as important as the work we do. They like to take some time during the week to let our Volunteer groups experience some cultural things, as well as local recreation.
Justice Issues:

Homelessness—Dacotah Tipis will continue, in 2016, the work we began in 1992 – addressing the housing crisis and rehabilitation and renovation needs on the Rez. With the help of volunteers we continue to see dreams of Homeownership come true for our Dakota people.

Poverty— Crow Creek is the poorest area of the United States, and living in desperate poverty creates its own culture. Acting and living according to Dakota/Lakota culture and living in a culture of poverty are often two different things, and at times are inconsistent with each other. As you travel around the Rez and interact with the residents here, be mindful of the fact that both cultures exist here and it is very difficult to distinguish between the two.
Cultural Opportunities:

Cultural Walks, which may include visiting a Sundance Grounds or CemeteriesCultural Talks/Roundtables with various Elders/Members of the Crow Creek Sioux TribeEvenings at the lake with Bonfires, food and/or smoresSweat Lodge Ceremony/Smoking of the Chanupa (Prayer Pipe)Searching for some of the Buffalo HerdExperiencing the Dakota/Lakota languagePowwow (Annually in August)Pristine Reservoir Swimming 9. Fishing a world class Walleye FisheryNature Walks:Gathering Herbs, Digging Turnips, Picking berries or plums (depending on season)Gathering Rocks (Grandfathers) and/or wood for campfires & Inipis (Sweat Lodge Ceremony)
Food, Lodging, and Travel:

The group will drive a 12-passenger van to South Dakota. You will be staying in the Dacotah Tipis Volunteer Center. It is a Volunteer Center built by volunteers for volunteers. The Volunteer Center has a beautiful fully functioning kitchen where the VISION group will spend community time preparing and eating meals together. The Volunteer Center also includes bunking areas for women and men.
Cost:

The trip fee of $500 includes van rental, site transportation, lodging, work materials for the site, meals, and programmed group activities. Additional expenses not included in the program fee, include: spending money for souvenirs as determined by the group agreement and food en route to site (~$50).

For more information, visit: http://www.dacotahtipis.org/

Construction is underway… Come join the fun!

Work with us as we put the finishing touches on new Volunteer Center and continue the build of a new home on the Crow Creek Reservation. The progress is good, but we need more volunteer groups and individuals to continue the momentum. In other words, we need you.



A visit to Crow Creek can be a life changing experience – rewarding and fun. As you work in one of the poorest area of the country, you will become immersed into the Native American culture, and by the time you leave, you will know your efforts have provided a family with a chance for a better future.
To volunteer contact:
Bob Werner at 605-680-0402
Dacotah Tipis HFH
P.O. Box 487
Fort Thompson, SD 57339
Email: hfhtipis@midstatesd.net   


Here are some pictures of the builds now in process:

Building the New home:

 Crow Creek South Dakota  Crow Creek South Dakota  Crow Creek South Dakota
Crow Creek South Dakota Crow Creek South Dakota Crow Creek South Dakota
Volunteering on the Crow Creek Reservation Volunteering on the Crow Creek Reservation
Volunteering on the Crow Creek Reservation Volunteering on a Native American Reservation Volunteering on the Crow Creek Reservation

Volunteer Center:

Build Homes in Crow Creek Build Homes in Crow Creek Build Homes in Crow Creek
Volunteer in Native America Volunteer in Native America Volunteer in Native America

Around the Crow Creek Reservation

Improve Housing on the Crow Creek Reservation Improve Housing on the Crow Creek Reservation Improve Housing on the Crow Creek Reservation
Improve Housing on the Crow Creek Reservation Improve Housing on the Crow Creek Reservation Improve Housing on the Crow Creek Reservation

Dacotah Tipis Intern Needed

Internship Position: Administrative Office Assistant

Internship Term: Summer/Fall 2014 (Maximum of 625 hours)

Internship Compensation: $8.00 per hour

Office Assistant Purpose: Maintain office operations daily; receive and distribute all communications; serve partner families, vendors and volunteers; maintain office supplies and equipment.

Office Assistant Duties:
• Forwards information by receiving and distributing communications; collecting, creating and mailing correspondence; creating, copying and filing information and documentation.
• Uses and maintains office equipment; keeps track of office supply inventories; monitors equipment operation; reports any needs, issues or failures to the Director.
• Maintains office schedule by keeping the Director’s calendar, the Board of Director’s calendar, and the Volunteer Center calendar.
• Serves partner families, vendors, and volunteers of the organization by answering questions, forwarding information and messages, scheduling and confirming appointments, scheduling and confirming volunteer reservations, and ensures completion and filing of all volunteer paperwork.
• Updates job knowledge by participating in educational opportunities such as my.habitat.org and habitatsouthdakota.org training.
• Enhances organization strength and reputation by striving to excel at daily tasks, accepts ownership of job accomplishments and failures, and explores opportunities to add value and capacity to the mission of the organization.

Skills/Qualifications: Office Experience – General, Scheduling, Telephone Skills, Typing, Documentation Skills, Meeting Planning, Verbal Communication, Written Communication, Dependability, Attention to Detail, Administrative Writing Skills, Internet and Face Book literacy.

Client Contact

Greet walk-in customers and clients and introduce first-time visitors to the organization by providing information about the firm and its services. Offer company brochures or literature, website address, and Face Book friendships. Answer telephone calls, using proper telephone etiquette and professional speaking tone. Direct calls to the appropriate staff members and take accurate messages when staffers are unavailable. Keep a record of all inquiries made by potential volunteers and donors.

Mail

Review all mail including e-mail; correspond within your authority and direct remaining correspondence to appropriate addressees. Pull and attach necessary file information to correspondence, or prepare for handling by other staffers. Prepare outgoing mail and packages, using correct postage and packaging units, such as letters, large envelopes and boxes.

Correspondence

Transcribe dictation or compose correspondence as directed. Proofread documents before preparing a final draft or provide drafts to supervisor for review and approval before putting it in final form. Distribute correspondence to proper addressees. Attach proper documentation and information to support the correspondence as needed, such as board minutes that may need to be attached to a cover letter.

Board Meetings

Assist the Director as needed to prepare for monthly board meetings. Receive board minutes from the board secretary; produce final copies of board meeting minutes for the following month’s board meeting, and file hard and electronic copies after approval by a quorum of the board.

Database Management

Manage company information in electronic databases and update accordingly. Ensure back up of computer files at scheduled intervals. Coordinate database management projects with the Director.

Equipment

Become familiar with the office and equipment. Take measures necessary to learn the operation and basic maintenance of the equipment. Monitor computer and office equipment to maximize productivity and reduce down time.

Administrative Specialties

The Habitat for Humanity organization and the construction field provide their own special demands. You will assist local residents with housing inquiries providing information on the Habitat program, helping them explore our home ownership opportunity, and assist selected families in their journey of building and owning a home. You may also at times refer clients to other local agencies that have common goals to further assist them. Also unique to Habitat and other NGOs, is the service of volunteers (both individuals and groups) who travel here from all over the nation and Europe. As a host agency for HFHI’s Global Village Program, Dacotah Tipis strives to provide all guests with a full and rewarding experience during their stay. You will assist the Director and Volunteer Liaison as needed to ensure our guests have a fantastic stay.

Qualifications

Strong verbal and written communication skills are key, with the ability to adapt communication style to audience, from partner families, volunteers and staffers to executive leadership. Presentation skills and public speaking skills are desirable due to working with groups and visitors from around the world.

The ability to work with limited supervision is also a key personal attribute. Be able to consistently exercise sound judgment and discretion. Pay attention to confidentiality of business data and personal information of clients, employees, volunteers and Board executives, and abide by all tribal, state and federal laws. You should have proficiency with MS Windows operating systems, including software such as MS Word, MS Outlook and MS Publisher. Will be familiar with Facebook or will be willing to become familiar with daily Facebook networking.
Your minimum education should be a high school diploma or equivalent. Pursuit of an associate degree in business or a bachelor’s degree is strongly preferred. Exposure to business concepts, practices and principles is highly desirable.

Read about the Crow Creek Reservation and the Dacotah Tipis Organization
HERE

For consideration of placement contact:
Bob Werner @ 605-245-2450 office, 605-680-0402 mobile.

Dacotah Tipis Habitat for Humanity
P.O. Box 487 Fort Thompson, SD 57339 USA
Phone: (605) 245-2450 Fax: (605) 245-2450
Email: hfhtipis@midstatesd.net Website: www.dacotahtipis.org

Overview of the Crow Creek Reservation and the Dacotah Tipis Organization

Location: Crow Creek Sioux Indian Reservation, Buffalo County South Dakota, Home of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, descendants of the Dakota/Lakota Oyata displaced to the Fort Thompson prison and reservation encampment after the Dakota War of 1862.


Demographics: Located on the beautifully scenic Missouri River in central South Dakota, the Dacotah Tipis HFH affiliate office is within walking distance to the Big Bend Dam at Fort Thompson, giving our volunteers extremely convenient access to swimming beaches, picnic areas, primitive and full amenities camping, fishing and exploring.

Well know in walleye fishing circles across the nation, Lake Francis Case (below) and Lake Sharpe (above) provide some of the best fishing in the mid-west and upper plains for walleye, small-mouth bass, northern pike, catfish, paddle-fish and white bass. Our volunteers and visitors fall in love with the Missouri River at first sight, and many seek its cool refreshing comfort after a long day working on the Habitat partner family’s home.

 

 

Its remarkably clean water comes to us from the Montana Rocky Mountains snow melt, yet warms nicely into the summer hosting frolicking swimmers well into the evenings. Always a wonderful opportunity to join the local kids at the swimming hole.

 

 

 

After supper and reflection, our North Shore use area immediately upstream from the dam is perfect for outdoor mass celebrations, reflection, daily roundtables and large bonfires with barbeques and S’mores.

 

 

Population: Although the Crow Creek Reservation encompasses 125,591 acres, the tribe only consists of approximately 1,230 enrolled members living on reservation, again consisting primarily of exiled descendants of the Minnesota Bands- Mdewakanton (People of Spirit Lake), and Ihanktonwan (People of the End).

During the mass relocation of many Dakota after 1862, over one third of the people died from disease and starvation leaving a decimated population to begin building a new community at Fort Thompson. Many, many never completed the journey.

 

Pictured here, the Medicine Crow family cut a caution-tape “Ribbon of Hope” for the future of their children as they break ground on their new home in the Habitat development. County wide for Buffalo County – South Dakota, the population was 1,912 as of the 2010 census, with the majority of non-Native residents being white farmers and ranchers.

 

 

Basic economy: Typical to the Great Plains, the largest industry here is agriculture. We are in the heart of America’s breadbasket, and corn, wheat, milo, sorghum and soy beans cover any tillable landscape here.
Dacotah Tipis has even turned a shovel to 5 acres of cornfield to create our latest housing development containing six, three-quarter acre lots. Being very rural and remote, most local employment opportunities consist of tribal administration, tribal utilities, tribal schools hotel and casino operations, and Bureau of Indian Affairs admin, realty and road departments. The average median income of resident households in Buffalo County, South Dakota was $12,692, and the median income for a family was $14,167 as of the 2010 census. That’s annual income!

Cultural/ethnic background: Volunteering on Crow Creek is an immersion into the lives of the present and past Great Sioux Nation. It is a privilege to visit and serve here; a community of old ways and new tribulations, and a community with new ways and old tribulations. Immerse yourself into a conversation of raw local history with one of our tribal elders, or challenge your wits and stamina by engaging in the high-energy environment of the Boys and Girls Club of Three Districts during non-construction diversified volunteering efforts.

“Waste Mani” (washte’-mo’ny) means “To walk in a good way”.
Daily, volunteers diversify their efforts of serving our community in many good ways. We don’t just build homes here, we build bridges of hope & reconciliation working with children at the Boys and Girls Club, Elders at the Golden Age Center, and with other local programs and agencies here on the Rez.

 

Affiliate history: Dacotah Tipis was founded in 1992 by an ecumenical group of ministry from three local churches in Fort Thompson in an effort to help alleviate the critical housing shortage and conditions on the reservation. When the organization received affiliation status with HFHI, Dacotah Tipis became the very first Native American Habitat! It has always been a struggle for the very impoverished and ultra-rural affiliate, but to this day has survived to be the only active and building Native American Habitat affiliate.

Proud to be a supporter of our state SSO and mission, Dacotah Tipis strives to continually participate in statewide training events, networking opportunities, and fundraising galas.
Pictured is a Dacotah Tipis raffle basket of our local Native art and craft on display at HFH SD’s annual event. The collection was put together by our donors, volunteers and board members.
Community housing need: “Situation Critical” Locally on the reservation there is a critical housing shortage forcing multi-generational families to live unbearably cramped living situations. Much of the housing stock that exists is older and in poor condition.

Due to ancient ways of taking care of the village, cases of families housing immediate and extended family members to the tune of 12 persons in 2 bedroom homes are pretty common, with children lacking not only bedrooms, but also the beds to sleep upon. The housing stock on the reservation is mostly government rental housing with some old self-help program homes mixed in on family parcels. The rest consists of trailers and very old homes that lack weatherization and maintenance to withstand the brutal -30 degree F winter temperatures and winds here.

Meeting the need: Oh, there is hope! In 2009 Dacotah Tipis found a new Director to invigorate the program with some badly needed funding sources and a greater and more consistent volunteer base. The creation of our new public relations and marketing campaigns has significantly boosted donations and support, as well as providing a steady stream of fantastic volunteers from all over the nation and Europe. Leveraging these donations and volunteer man hours with local fundraising and volunteer efforts, Dacotah Tipis has been able to close on and dedicate 2 homes to families just in the last few years. This home pictured above is owned by the Medicine Crow family, our 2013 closing and dedication.

Building Globally: As we build locally, Dacotah Tipis Tithes to build globally. A short year after it’s founding in 1992, Dacotah Tips began its support of Habitat Guatemala thru a global tithe initiative program. As the old saying goes; “Wish for others, that, you wish to receive” Since 1993, our commitment to Habitat Guatemala has resulted in 8 families served, with new houses to call home and raise their children in. Our goal remains: 1 home here and 1 home there, per year.

Newsletter The Homeland Childrens Foundation…

Dear Friends,

Many of you have asked how you can become more personally involved with our projects on the Sioux Reservation in Fort Thompson, South Dakota. As you may know, our activities are primarily done in cooperation with Dacotah Tipis, the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity. has been working feverishly to complete a new volunteer center in Fort Thomson to house those who with to participate in projects on the reservation.

A week has been set aside, beginning August 15th, 2014, for those families who wish to visit and participate in helping out on the reservation. This is a particularly exciting time in Fort Thompson, because the annual Native American Pow Wow will be held right there from August 16-18th! Families will have the unique opportunity to witness real native American culture, dance, arts,crafts, and native life.

This would be a wonderful way for your children to learn something about the history of the area, which spans the banks of the Missouri River, part of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Dacotah Tipis could host you at the center, or at the local Catholic church. The accommodations are simple, bunk beds and shared bathroom facilities. Habitat asks for a donation of $200 per person per week to cover the cost of each person’s simple accommodations, building supplies, and running the center, but no one who wants to volunteer is turned away if they cannot pay. Parents must provide direct supervision for young children. Older children can participate in the builds, but need to be 18 or older to use power tools.

After the Pow Wow, participants would be expected to volunteer on a build for several days. Tasks might include hammering beds together, doing simple electrical work, framing a house, pouring cement, painting, gardening, cooking, or working with the local youth groups. Habitat will require that you sign a basic waiver. During downtime, there is fishing for walleye, swimming in the Missouri River, and sometimes, horseback riding. Life on the reservation will allow you to view firsthand the challenges faced by the people who live there, and you will be able to make a difference by volunteering some of your time, skills, and caring.

If you are thinking about joining us, you might like to know that there are quite wonderful attractions for your family to enjoy in South Dakota, despite how remote the reservation is. Little House on the Prairie fans can visit the Laura Ingalls Homestead, which features covered wagon rides and great information about prairie life. Mount Rushmore is to the west of the reservation, in the heart of the black Hills/Badlands area. Badlands National Park is like no other you have seen! The Corn Place in Mitchell is a classic stop along Highway 90, featuring huge mosaics made out of…corn! You might think of adding some days at the beginning or end of your stay on the reservation to take in some of the sights. South Dakota is one of the most beautiful places in the U.S., big blue skies, endless prairies (where the bison still roam) and the Missouri River.

You would need to arrive in Fort Thompson on August 15th to begin. You need to be responsible for your own transportation. If you fly in to Sioux Falls, you will need to rent a car at the airport to drive the approximately 125 miles to Fort Thompson.

You can buy simple groceries at the convenience store in Fort Thompson, and fix meals in the volunteer center. There is a new green market that operates at least one day a week in the summer. There is a small cafe, a small casino which serves meals, and a very simple, clean motel, if you prefer not to stay in the volunteer center. Be aware that Buffalo County is the poorest county in the U.S., and it is remote. Supplies are limited.

To help get ready for volunteers, Homeland has set up a registry at Target.com so families can provide some of the items that will be needed at the center. Here is the link: http://www.target.com/wedd/registry/5cTC9m_eMDcnxy2jjHtERQ

I already purchased one of the coffee makers, but if you are planning to be there, I strongly suggest looking into the shower curtains!

I hope a number of you can join in. It may be a life changing experience for you and your family. If you can’t come to South Dakota, please consider donating through the Target registry, sending a check, or gathering children’s books for grades 1-12. Books do not need to be new. You can also provide a $200 sponsorship for someone to participate in the build.

You can send tax deductible donations to:
Homeland Children’s Foundation
121 New York Avenue
Congers, NY 10920

If you are interested in participating in the Habitat build and would like more information, send an email to: Pam

VOLUNTEERING IN ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES ON EARTH

From: Pam McClure

Volunteering on the Crow Creek Indian reservation in Fort Thompson, South Dakota has been a life-changing experience for my husband Bob and I.

After researching Habitat for Humanity opportunities, we realized that the Crow Creek reservation offered the volunteer work we had been seeking, and the Native American cultural experiences we enjoy. For the past two summers we have traveled in our motor home from South Carolina to the South Dakota paradise.

Although there are a variety of accommodations available to volunteers (hotels, resorts, local churches, a volunteer center under construction, and a few campgrounds on Lake Sharpe), we find that living in our motor home is ideal for us because it provides us all the conveniences of home.

My challenge to those of you who travel via RV is this…
Travel to and volunteer at Crow Creek with Jim, the energetic and enthusiastic director of the Dacotah Tipis Habitat for Humanity projects!  You will have unique opportunities to help Native Americans build homes for themselves and their families; view beautiful, rolling hills that border the resevoir, enjoy water recreation and outstanding fishing opportunities; and immerse yourself in Native American culture.

We have worked on a Habitat house, spent quality time with local residents, and learned valuable information about the Native Americans who live here. We are blessed to have this opportunity! Next summer will be our third trip to Crow Creek!   We and the Habitat community look forward to spending time volunteering with you here at the reservation.

Sincerely,

Pam McClure & Bob Vicars

If you would like to come to South Dakota and join in all the fun this year, the contact info is below…


Bob Werner
Dacotah Tipis Habitat for Humanity
P.O. Box 487
Fort Thompson, SD 57339
605-680-0402
Email: hfhtipis@midstatesd.net
Website: www.dacotahtipis.org

 

Homeland Children’s Foundation – Supporters of the Year in 2013

 

Meet Nancy Reffsin and Pam Thomas: founders of the Homeland Children’s Foundation of Congers, NY. They were selected by Dacotah Tipis as Supporters of the year for their generous contributions to Dacotah Tipis, and for their strong commitment to the organization’s future. (See their recent newsletter below.) For years Homeland Children’s Foundation has provided support for adoption agencies in China and Southeast Asia. Due to the growing need for housing on the Crow Creek Reservation, and the positive effects of a good home, they have decided to assist Dacotah Tipis. We at Dacotah Tipis are impressed with their continued kindness, and are delighted to have their support. Their help will make a huge difference to the children of Crow Creek, and their impact to the Dacotah Tipis program will be significant.


Last November Nancy and Pam were honored at the statewide Habitat for Humanity banquet in Sioux Falls where they were recognized as Supporters of the Year. They also spent time touring the Crow Creek Reservation and the Dacotah Tipi’s projects. We are grateful for their involvement and look forward to working with Nancy and Pam.

Note that the Homeland Childrens Foundation has already organized a Habitat Build on Crow Creek and is sponsoring a Target Gift Registry to help the Dacotah Tipis Volunteer Center.


Newsletter from Pamela Thomas, Homeland Childrens Foundation…

Dear Friends,

Many of you have asked how you can become more personally involved with our projects on the Sioux Reservation in Fort Thompson, South Dakota. As you may know, our activities are primarily done in cooperation with Dacotah Tipis, the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity has been working feverishly to complete a new volunteer center in Fort Thomson to house those who with to participate in projects on the reservation.

Jim has set aside a week, beginning August 15th, 2014, for those families who wish to visit and participate in helping out on the reservation. This is a particularly exciting time in Fort Thompson, because the annual Native American Pow Wow will be held right there from August 16-18th! Families will have the unique opportunity to witness real native American culture, dance, arts,crafts, and native life.

This would be a wonderful way for your children to learn something about the history of the area, which spans the banks of the Missouri River, part of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Dacotah Tipis could host you at the center, or at the local Catholic church. The accommodations are simple, bunk beds and shared bathroom facilities. Habitat asks for a donation of $200 per person per week to cover the cost of each person’s simple accommodations, building supplies, and running the center, but no one who wants to volunteer is turned away if they cannot pay. Parents must provide direct supervision for young children. Older children can participate in the builds, but need to be 18 or older to use power tools.

After the Pow Wow, participants would be expected to volunteer on a build for several days. Tasks might include hammering beds together, doing simple electrical work, framing a house, pouring cement, painting, gardening, cooking, or working with the local youth groups. Habitat will require that you sign a basic waiver. During downtime, there is fishing for walleye, swimming in the Missouri River, and sometimes, horseback riding. Life on the reservation will allow you to view firsthand the challenges faced by the people who live there, and you will be able to make a difference by volunteering some of your time, skills, and caring.

If you are thinking about joining us, you might like to know that there are quite wonderful attractions for your family to enjoy in South Dakota, despite how remote the reservation is. Little House on the Prairie fans can visit the Laura Ingalls Homestead, which features covered wagon rides and great information about prairie life. Mount Rushmore is to the west of the reservation, in the heart of the black Hills/Badlands area. Badlands National Park is like no other you have seen! The Corn Place in Mitchell is a classic stop along Highway 90, featuring huge mosaics made out of…corn! You might think of adding some days at the beginning or end of your stay on the reservation to take in some of the sights. South Dakota is one of the most beautiful places in the U.S., big blue skies, endless prairies (where the bison still roam) and the Missouri River.

You would need to arrive in Fort Thompson on August 15th to begin. You need to be responsible for your own transportation. If you fly in to Sioux Falls, you will need to rent a car at the airport to drive the approximately 125 miles to Fort Thompson.

You can buy simple groceries at the convenience store in Fort Thompson, and fix meals in the volunteer center. There is a new green market that operates at least one day a week in the summer. There is a small cafe, a small casino which serves meals, and a very simple, clean motel, if you prefer not to stay in the volunteer center. Be aware that Buffalo County is the poorest county in the U.S., and it is remote. Supplies are limited.

To help get ready for volunteers, Homeland has set up a registry at Target.com so families can provide some of the items that will be needed at the center. Here is the link: http://www.target.com/wedd/registry/5cTC9m_eMDcnxy2jjHtERQ

I already purchased one of the coffee makers, but if you are planning to be there, I strongly suggest looking into the shower curtains!

I hope a number of you can join in. It may be a life changing experience for you and your family. If you can’t come to South Dakota, please consider donating through the Target registry, sending a check, or gathering children’s books for grades 1-12. Books do not need to be new. You can also provide a $200 sponsorship for someone to participate in the build.

You can send tax deductible donations to:
Homeland Children’s Foundation
121 New York Avenue
Congers, NY 10920

If you are interested in participating in the Habitat build and would like more information, send an email to: Pam

Why you’re needed at Crow Creek

This family is now in a Habitat Home thanks to the hard work of many volunteers and the Dacotah Tipis staff. Please help us continue this effort.

Conrad Medicine Crow, Codi, and familyCrow Creek tribal members Conrad Medicine Crow, Codi and their four children needed a home on the reservation for their family of six. With both of them working on the reservation and four boys ranging in age from two to 17 years old, their long commute from Chamberlain where they were living was taking a toll on their family. They applied to Dacotah Tipis Habitat for Humanity. They were approved, and this responsible, hardworking family broke ground on July 2, 2010, for their new home, which is expected to be completed by Christmas of 2011. Like other families, they were required to make a down payment and put in 500 sweat equity hours in addition to the mortgage payments on the 25-year no-interest home loan, plus home owners insurance.

Safe and affordable housing is a huge need on the Crow Creek Indian reservation. Dacotah Tipis Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1992 to ease the burden of a critical housing shortage on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation in Buffalo County, South Dakota.

The Crow Creek Reservation, located 60 miles from the nearest interstate, has a population of 2225 with a high unemployment rate. With a housing shortage and a lack of adequate housing, it is commonplace to have 8 adults and 10 children living in a single family house, which still only brings in a combined income of less than $10,000.00 per year.

Most of Buffalo County is made up of Crow Creek Indian Reservation and is one of the nation’s poorest county. Many homes don’t have kitchens, plumbing or telephones. The number of homes in Buffalo county without these basic services is increasing.

The Dacotah Tipis contractor and has been building homes for 30 years. He knows how to make the dollars stretch but with no additional paid staff, his organization is completely dependent on volunteers and donations to complete the houses. A five-acre development on land leased from the tribe already has two houses completed and occupied.

Your help is needed for the work to continue.

Raising the wall of a Habitat house

University of Colorado – Skagg’s School of Pharmacy Week

From Colorado, Illinois, Texas, Louisiana, Iowa,  and all over the nation… Here they come!

Natalie Berner (left to right), Jake Grimes, Adrienne kercsak, Jamie Peters, and Matt Schumake pose in the Habitat warehouse for a pic on their last day. The pharmacy students from the U. of Colorado medical campus teamed up with Matt to finish and assemble a set of bunk-beds before they all had to leave. Matt built the beds to create a model for future volunteers to use as a template to build many more. This set was built to fit mattresses that were purchased for the Medicine Crow Habitat family by the First United Methodist Church of St. Loius, Michigan as a house warming gift. A special thanks to Pastor Terri Bentley who led a group from their Michigan parish to Crow Creek to help build the Medicine Crow home in September of 2012. First United’s efforts resulted in $2,200.00 in donations funding, 880 volunteer man-hours, and 6 brand new mattresses for the build. Another shout out of thanks goes to Brother Jake Grimes (second from left)  for traveling so far North from Lafayette, Louisiana to lend a hand. Jake came up to finish the framing tasks, but soon found himself laying sewer line, doing the in-floor plumbing and drain, pouring some concrete, AND a bunch of framing tasks. Jake helped the group frame the raised floor in the volunteer center,  and finish the in-floor plumbing and concrete work as well. Great leader. Thanks so much Jake!

 

 

In the Habitat warehouse (left), Matt explains the bed design, and the tasks that need to be finished to put the beds together to Twan Do, Imanibam Etukeren, and Adrienne. Twan (center) helps shave a little off of the frame to ensure a good fit. Ali Burgoon (right) poses with a european style deer mount Matt did for her while she was here from Columbia, Mo. on her alternative spring break service trip. “Hi Ali”! “See ya next year MIZZOU”!

 

 

(Above left) Matt shows Emily Sellers, and Jamie Beard from the University of Missouri “MIZZOU ASB” how to do lay-out and framing while working on some drop-soffit pieces for the volunteer center in  the last week of March. (Center) Adrienne and Jamie from Colorado enjoy working in the warehouse on the bed project. Everyone can  appreciate a good screw gun when you are rushing to complete a project! (Above right) Adrienne and her crew pose for a pic with Matt after completing the bed assembly. Next step, stain it.

Matt watches as Christina Zhang (above left) sands the boards that will create the bunkbeds. Matt and Jon (far right),  put their fish on James’ Jeep hood for a pic of their fish. “I heard they had some fun”.

“White Bear” (his new given name) came from Chicago in early February until the end of May to lend a hand getting the volunteer center started. A huge commitment. More of a furniture builder than a framing carpenter, Matt dove into any work I had pressing. He sweated copper fittings, framed walls, and even laid 100 feet of 6″ sewer pipe when we found to our dismay, our line had to be replaced all the way out to the 8″ main line. He accomplished a lot, and learned a lot too, becoming an excellent worksite leader by the time the groups started arriving. “Matt, how can I ever thank you enough”? A very hard working volunteer, Matt was involved in almost everything that went on around here during his stay. He even spent some time fishing with my sons James and Jon.  After many, many days of work, and some of play…Matt finally says good-bye to hurry off to his sister’s graduation ceremonies in Missouri. So long good friend…miss you like crazy!


If you would like to come to South Dakota and join in all the fun this year, the contact info is below….


Bob Werner at 605-680-0402
P.O. Box 487
Fort Thompson, SD 57339
Email: hfhtipis@midstatesd.net
Website: www.dacotahtipis.org

Tigers Take on Crow Creek

This week we had a group of 12 volunteers come into Fort Thompson from the University of Missouri, a part of the Alternative Spring Break program. The Tigers have come to Crow Creek to spend their spring break learning about the Native American culture and to work with Habitat for Humanity.On Monday, the group helped continue the work being done on the new Volunteer Center in the basement of the Golden Age Center. The next thing on the list was to build some interior walls and also the group started the electrical wiring for rooms. By the end of the day on Monday, the group finished an interior wall and had built the frame for the soffit. The group’s goal is to help hang drywall by the end of the week.We commend this group for making the decision to to spend their spring break doing work that will benefit the Crow Creek Reservation!
A broken nail gun didn’t stop the tigers! A volunteer signing his name on a wall stud A volunteer shining light into the joists to rewire a light
A volunteer signing a wall stud A volunteer shining light into the joists

 

Read about the University of Missouri’s Alternative Spring Break Program here.

The University of Missouri
The MU Volunteer Group at Crazy Horse




Learn about the Dacota 38

Click here for Full Dacota 38 movie




If you plan to volunteer, please become familiar with the best practices for safety and loss prevention.

Volunteer Safety Training


Christ Episcopal Church on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation
Faith Based Partnerships


Click the image below to see the Google Map. Dacotah Tipis – Habitat for Humanity
See us on:
Dacotah Tipis – Habitat for Humanity


Dacotah Tipis – Habitat for Humanity
To apply for Home Ownership,
or to Volunteer...


Contact:
Bob Werner at 605-680-0402

Email: hfhtipis@midstatesd.net



Dacotah Tipis – Habitat for Humanity

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